Creating dynamic new markets
To achieve global goals for sustainable development, urban development, including much greater involvement of the private sector, needs to play a primary role in the future.
(from left:) Manfred Schekulin, Michael Otter, Reinhard Fitz, Patrick Avato and Anne Busch talk about the chances of Austrian companies in the African market. Photo: SI/Mair
For a company to successfully estab- lish itself in a foreign country, it first needs to examine the market and find a gap in the regional offerings for its own product. Whether its business focuses on the environment or society, a specific goal always needs to be defined in order to succeed. Cities, in particular, offer a great starting point for companies because, according to experts, the present urbanization trends will also continue in the future.
Moreover, given the high density of urban populations, resources can often be utilized better. In this respect, urbanization provides great opportunities for many firms.
Risks & Problems
To conquer a new market, one particularly needs to be able to foresee obstacles that he might face in the future. Given that global warming and other changes are already much felt, cities, in particular, need to prepare for the upcoming developments. Longer periods of draught followed by floods will become a part of everyday life also in Europe.
To uphold the existing social structures also in these new conditions, it is important to maintain our daily operations without change to the extent possible. This is why critical areas, such as infrastructure, need to be strengthened and adapted to the new conditions.
SDG (Sustainable Development Goals)
The SDGs are goals for sustainable development focusing on various fields, such as access to education or infrastructure plans. A total of 17 sustainable development goals have been formulated by the UN-Habitat.
“Local public transport, water and sewage, and waste management are the three sectors that have the greatest impact on sustainable development in cities,” says Patrick Avato, expert on cities from the International Finance Corporation IFC of the World Bank Group, in an interview with the CorporAID Magazine.
Only if the most influential factors in the area of urban development are fine-tuned to interact with one another can they work as an engine for sustainable urban development. This is why good and well thought-through projects are increasingly sought.
Specifically in the field of infrastructure, the demand is huge. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, the annual gap between required and available investment for infrastructure amounts to 800 billion dollars. A nice starting point for all businesses working in this area...
Cable instead of road
By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population, i.e. some six bil- lion people, will live in cities. If we look at the present traffic situation during peak hours, it is hard to imagine how there could possibly be space- for even more participants on the overcrowded roads. Urbanization trends are as wellknown as the issues associated with them.
This is one of many possible ways how smart mobility of the future could look. Other currently much discussed urban traffic solu- tions, which are high-tech taxis and urban cable cars. Photo: Airbus
The number of infrastructure and mobility pilot projects is growing, from road management systems to flying taxis. But cableways, too, are increasingly mentioned in the same breath with buses and trains. This is because they offer the advantages of an affordable and, above all, environmental means of transport. Though once merely an alpine ascent vehicle, they can now help reduce CO2 emissions by tons expressed in multiple digits in a single year.
It has already been said that cities, with their large populations, can play a central role in the fulfillment of the SDGs, as well as the goals stipulated in climate treaties. But precisely how this sustainable urban development might look is still not quite clear in many places. For example, the Australian city of Ipswich is trying to test the safety advantages of an interconnected vehicle infrastructure in a pilot project.
By the end of 2019, around 500 fleet vehicles and public transport vehicles should be upgraded through CITS technology from KAPSCH while 30 C-ITS devices should be built-in the roads and highways. A technical basis should be formed for a future generation of intelligent traffic systems within a two-year’ testing phase. But the countries and emerging markets that are growing fastest are insufficiently prepared.
Where structures necessary for the implementation of investment projects are missing and access to financial markets is difficult, entering a potentially interesting market can be a risky business decision for an investor. Some organizations are already trying to develop initial structures and open new markets, such as the market with Smart Mobility, by actively seeking and soliciting private investors.
Future development in Smart Cities will be one of the environment- and resource-friendly approaches along with high-level of networking through digital technologies. An already existing showcase model of such a future city is Songdo City in South Korea. UN-Habitat has already found partners for this goal among economically strong businesses.
DOPPELMAYR, for example, is much engaged in the field of sustainable urban development and committed to the achievement of as many as four SDGs.